Monthly Archives: April 2005

parallel processors

There’s a chapter in microserfs where one of the characters explains how his antidepressants affect his productivity. He describes it as upgrading one’s brain to a parallel processor computer. (My copy of microserfs, along with all my Coupland books, is in a box in my parents garage in Victoria, so I can’t quote it here). It allows him better use of his time, to get time in bulk.

That’s kind of how I feel, three weeks into my Wellbutrin experience. Like it’s rewired my brain to work differently. Time goes faster, in a good way – I’ll look up, and realize I’ve been on the elliptical trainer for ten minutes. Spinning class flew by today. Things are getting done. It’s fantastic. I’m in love with this stuff. I’m eating less, too, and have stopped craving even the occasional Marlboro Menthol Light, and have high hopes of getting back on a regular gym schedule again. I’m pretty happy so far with the drug – much more so than I ever was with the Paxil.

Anyone else have comments on the effects of this particular brand of non-SSRI anti-depressant? The only thing I’m NOT happy with is that I absolutely cannot drink on it. I sober up almost immediately, and then just get depressed the next day. Not worth it. Likely better for me, just a lot less fun.

ATTENTION California residents – help save Lincoln Place

(x-posted to los_angeles)

Two of my good friends live in an apartment complex called Lincoln Place. It’s just over the Venice border from my home in Mar Vista. It’s a “park like community” – older apartment buildings with more green space, trees, flowers and plants than I’ve ever seen in any other apartment complex. It’s what an apartment community SHOULD be, with its beautiful gardens and friendly neighbors. They have a real sense of community there, possibly because the setting is so nice, how could one be anything but friendly?

Now, the BIG EVIL CORPORATION that owns it is, unconscionably, evicting all the residents. The residents have fought, despite attempted bribery. They were all offered $18,000 to leave, and many of them chose to stay. That’s how much these people love their home – it isn’t just an apartment that they can replace, it’s a home, a village…and that’s rare enough in Los Angeles in 2005.

The consequences to individuals goes beyond that though. Many of the residents are older people with nowhere else to go. Some are families. Most depend on the rent control to keep their standard of living. Many will have to leave Venice entirely if they are evicted, and both physically and psychologically, for the old and the young, this is one of the healthiest places to live in the megalopolis.

One of the tactics that they have adopted is to lobby to get Lincoln Place on the list of National Historic Places. It would definitely delay the demolition. Below is the information on how YOU can help save a unique community, by cutting, pasting and sending a quick e-mail. And if you’re reading this, and live in the L.A. area, you can also come by on Sunday for the Party To Save Lincoln Place (Lincoln and Lake, Venice)

e-mail information

hee hee hee

(and thanks to Something Awful and Photoshop Phriday)

who in the what now?

I am horribly behind in LJ and blogs in general. I’m sorry, y’all. I haven’t had time or inclination to post because I’ve been all caught up in Work. Despite having hit some difficult times lately, the Agency is still keeping me on the hop, and I’ve found myself doubleteaming on the porn client. Bad jokes ensued.

(I’m well aware that I’m now working in gambling & porn again. I have been reminded, “isn’t that why you left Vancouver?” by a whole slew of my Vancouver-based friends. Don’t worry, kids – this is temporary. I’ll be out of the iniquity long before anything happens like a microwave being replaced with a breadbox.)

I also haven’t been reading my friends list much. This is because I haven’t been online at home much. See, my laptop is terrible and doesn’t hold signal for the wireless network in our house. So until I get a new Dell on my corporate employee discount, I’ve just lost patience. It’s a waste of my time.

This has also resulted in me falling behind in my MySpace inbox. I get random e-mails all the time from guys who fall for that deceptively cute, tan photo I have in my profile. And then there’s the random ones I get from the creeps who are cutting & pasting the same e-mail to every pretty girl on the site:
mockery of some guy dumb enough to e-mail me

UBC has seen the last of us!

My little sister moved home from Gage today because she is finished exams.

UBC has now seen the last of my family. They have given B.A.’s to me, my older half sister, and my little sister in the last ten years. My parents should write them a thank you note.

Campus can breathe easy again – the last of the Tate girls are out.

(I am, by the way, very proud & happy for my sister, who is convocating with honors in a few weeks. She worked much harder than I ever did, and it has paid off for her. I will be there to scream and cheer at her grad, just like she was at mine.)

how the hell do you pronounce it?

I’d like to thank mhalachai for bringing it to my attention that the logo for the 2010 Games in Vancouver is an unpronounceable inukshuk

How the hell do you say, “Illanaaq”?

For that matter, Americans can barely prounouce “fajita”. I seriously doubt they’ll be able to master “inukshuk”, much less “Illanaaq”.

“Illanaaq”. Since when do we even have Inuit in Vancouver? Or is this just a lame attempt to grab hold of some semblance of uniquely Canadian indigeneous culture? I have a maple leaf tattoo – not an Inuit symbol – because it’s not my culture. If anything, I’d pick up a Coast Salish symbol before I’d get anything from the Far North. Why is a symbol of Canada’s much ill-treated native people being used for a Eurocentric gong show event that half the city didn’t even want? (That last part is irrelevant; I was just in the half that knew the Olympics would be a mistake, and I will stand by that for the next five years)
more random vancouver stuff

you know a band is good…

…when you wake up the day after the show with their songs stuck in your head.

I went to Bar Sinister last night to see Shiny Toy Guns. It’s rare that I find a new band I like that I can’t fit into a category, or describe without using references to other bands. Despite all looking about eighteen though, the kids in STG had actually come up with a fairly unique sound – something that went all over the board from New Order to emo. And they did one of the best covers of Depeche Mode’s “Stripped” that I’ve ever heard. If you’re going to cover Depeche Mode and perform it at a goth club, you’d better have it down right.

I also spent a good chunk of the driving yesterday listening to Vagenius, who are a local band that are now one of my favorites. It’s kind of like the Postal Service, fronted by Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, as done by a Commodore 64. It’s still a unique sound, and I quite like the CD, and for those of you into that sort of thing, it’s $11 well spent to support indie music. And for those of you local – they’re also resident at Spaceland next month.

As for now though, I’m ripping one of my other favorite local bands’ new CDs to my MP3 player to take to the gym. The new Crystal Method Community Service compilation is better than the first, and they’re local enough to L.A. to do a weekly radio show on the Indie station. I figure that and a Depeche Mode remix CD, and I’ll have enough to keep me going for a few miles along the beach bike route. It’s sunny outside, despite predicted Vancouver-style weather this weekend, and I should probably go outside and play.

a very L.A. day

I went for microdermabrasion in Beverly Hills today.

This is, short of Botox, one of the most L.A. things I could have done. Microderabrasion is where diamond chips are used to exfoliate off a layer of skin. And the woman who did it was one of the best aestheticians I’ve had work from in this city. She delivered a ten minute lecture to me on not using soap on my skin, but not for the purpose of selling me anything. Just because, well, you’re really not supposed to use soap on skin. It leaves a residue that clogs up the cells.

She also told me that I would get some of the best results from the least expensive scrubs and masks I could make. She recommended a scrub of egg white and cornmeal, and a mask of the egg yolk, honey and orange oil. She also works with my girl roomate, so she suggested we make them and do skin care together.

So after having a layer of skin taken off (something I was told, I won’t need done again for a long time because I have good skin), I left Beverly Hills and drove across L.A. on Santa Monica to the 101. This took me through West Hollywood and down past the turnoff to Silverlake, through parts of town I haven’t been to lately. I’m a bit ashamed of myself actually – I’ve been hiding out in West L.A. too much lately. I should be out, y’know, doing stuff.

But my destination today was Olvera Street, the old Mexican marketplace in downtown Los Angeles, home of the Oldest Building in la ciudad. It’s an adobe that dates to 1818. It, and a block of other buildings, are home to a Spanish/Mexican cultural history, rather than the American and British history I’m used to seeing up North. Right now, the main attraction is a history of Los Angeles and its water supply, which is in the old basement of the adobe. And in that basement there was a brick pipe, cut away – the zanja, the water conduit that was part of the Spanish system. (I’m reading a biography of Mulholland and the rise of L.A. right now – water is a huge part of the politics and development of this city – and this exhibit dovetailed nicely with what I’m gleaning from the book)

After I wandered Olvera Street, studying history and chatting with docents & shopkeepers, I wandered over to Chinatown to get lunch. Chinatown L.A. is the same as Chinatown in Vancouver, so it was a bit like being back home. I picked up some cheap steamed buns and a mystery tofu dish before heading home again.

What I’m realizing lately – and this is a whole separate post – is that there is a whole other narrative to the history of this city. I have been fascinated with the history of the American city for the past year since getting here: the old communities along the river that were abandoned in postwar white flight. Now, I’m starting to see the Spanish narrative, and, running intertwined with that, the Mexica narrative. Is there even a continiuty between the Spanish city and the Mexican/Central American Spanish-speaking city now? I’d like to find that out.

For now though, I’m off to Bar Sinister, because Shiny Toy Guns are playing, and I have a too-short dress I haven’t worn out yet. History will have to wait until tomorrow – I’m going to blast the new VNV Nation in the half hour to Hollywood, and go dance to Assemblage 23.

There is so much to be studied for history here.


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all porn’d out for the day

Recently, the Agency took on a new client. A video on demand client. A video on demand client with an “adult” division. We are, surprisingly, doing the “adult” only right now, and putting together an online media proposal, comprised of e-mail opportunities, web advertising (banners & text links on relevant sites only, not pop-ups) and search engine keyword purchase.

This means that we’re all looking at a lot of porn. And I mean a LOT of porn. Sites like,, and of course, Not to mention the Google of porn – BOOBLE!

The senior media planner came in yesterday, stood in the middle of Camp Media (six of us all sit in the same aisle now) and announced, “I’m going to be looking at a lot of porn. A LOT of porn. So if you ladies are offended…don’t look over my shoulder.”

I, myself, just had to use my computer to show my boss some of the classy sites selected for us by a vendor, including In most workplaces, having your boss ask you to click on XXX-rated links is harassment; here, it’s comedy.

I happen to have the sleaziest background of anyone on the team here, so I was asked to “help out”. I was asked to start pulling in gambling contacts and ask if they would take adult. The sad thing? I was able to go one better than that. I actually had all the contact info for still from my LAST job.

I’m kind of porned out right now. As I just told my boss, “if I have to see ONE MORE PENIS, I’ll go blind.” Seriously. There’s only so much of that you can take in one day.

I’m going to go back to my online poker client now. Compared to the porn, it’s suddenly respectable.